New Video Released in Casselton Train Derailment of 2013

An NTSB investigation puts the blame on a broken axle.

CASSELTON, N.D. — We now know the cause of the 2013 Casselton train derailment and explosion.

An NTSB investigation puts the blame on a broken axle.

“I just seen a bunch of stuff fly off the switch heater,” said the radio operator in the newly released video of the 2013 train derailment.

It’s the crash and explosion that left it’s mark on Casselton.

“While it has taken us three years to complete this investigation, we have been working diligently to improve the safety of transporting large quantities of flammable liquids,” said  Robert Hall, who is with the NTSB.

An axle, found broken in half is what’s believed to have derailed the BNSF train that was carrying soybeans.

It was only one minute and 15 seconds later that a crude oil train crossed its path.

You hear the operators say:”4934, we are derailed we are all over. We got to go.”

Officials inspected the fractures on the axle and found similar defects in other axles from the same manufacturer.

“Investigators located an axle assembly broken in half,” said NTSB Railroad Accident Investigator Michael Hiller. “Initial observations of the fracture services were consistent with the void defect.”

In a statement to KVRR, BNSF said that it “works to continually reduce risk for the safe movement of all commodities that we move and has taken a number of actions specifically on the movement of crude.”

That is something Senator Heitkamp says she’s been focused on since she took office.

“The important part is we’ve taken critical steps forward but we can always learn from these reports,” she said. “It’s important to find out if there are any gaps in our regulations or gaps in our thinking that need to be addressed.”

This was the first major crude oil train accident the NTSB has investigated in the United States.

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